Applicants with Question Marks for Equal Pay

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the federal agency that enforces laws prohibiting employment discrimination – has filed a lawsuit that claims a Kansas school district violated the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by paying women and men unequally for doing a job with the same required skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, according to a press release from the EEOC.

The EEOC lawsuit states that Julie Rosenquist was hired by Unified School District 245 LeRoy-Gridley (USD 245) to be the principal in 2015. While her male predecessor was paid salary of $50,000, she was paid 90 percent of that, or $45,000. In 2016, Rosenquist was given a small raise to $46,500. In 2017, after she was replaced by a male who was paid $50,000, Rosenquist filed a complaint with the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits companies from paying women and men unequally for doing a job with the same required skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Unified School District 245 LeRoy-Gridley, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-2398) in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

“Ensuring equal pay protections for all workers is one of the Commission’s six Strategic Enforcement Plan priorities. As pay disparities between men and women persist in the workplace, it is important that we enforce laws like the Equal Pay Act to narrow the gap and ensure an equal playing field for everyone,” Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC’s regional attorney in St. Louis, stated in the press release.

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show that women earned 80 percent of what men earned in 2015. The gender wage gap between men and women has narrowed by less than one-half a penny per year in the United States since 1963, when Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, the first law aimed at prohibiting gender-based pay discrimination, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.

The fact that that several cities and states in the U.S. have passed laws prohibiting salary history questions by employers about job applicants as part of an equal pay movement to narrow the gender wage gap between women and men is one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2018 selected by leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR).

“When employers have a background screening firm perform past employment verifications, it is critical that the screening firm have the knowledge about states and cities that prohibit salary history questions as well as software that helps facilities compliance,” explains ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ a comprehensive guide for employment background checks.

ESR Offers Past Employment Verifications that Comply with Equal Pay Laws

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – leading global background check firm – performs primary source verification of current and previous employment that provides confirmation of position held, beginning and end dates, and the rate of pay only if permissible under current state and local equal pay laws. To learn more, visit

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2018 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.


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